This game was a quintessential tough West matchup until Dallas really just took over in the third quarter. The game was really back and forth through two, but Rick Carlisle must have said something worthwhile to his team at half. Dallas held Denver scoreless for the first nine minutes of the third quarter, and never really relinquished the lead after that.
Good win for Mavs fans tonight. Just a lot of fun.
This was a great Zaza game.
Anyone who has been watching knows that Zaza Pachulia has been one of the unexpectedly fantastic parts of this Mavs season. Tonight was the sort of game that really emphasized that. He had __ points and __ rebounds, and the stats don't really tell the whole story, as usual. This guy just plays his heart out for this team, and I love it.
My favorite point in this game was midway through the 4th quarter, when Zaza tossed an absolutely gorgeous pass to Devin cutting to the basket for an easy layup. Dallas was easily in control at this point, but it just showed the sort of chemistry and teamwork that has this team promising to be something better than any of us expected. Zaza and Devin were just on the same page on that play. And through Dallas's surprising run so far this year, that has been a common theme.
And a common trope in that theme has been Zaza Pachulia. I love him.
Deron Williams had a good game, but I'm skeptical
Deron Williams is a bit of an enigma this season. He has more or less driven the offense, and yet I'm a little offput by him. Tonight was the epitome of that.
His shots were falling. But they weren't good shots. In my opinion, Deron is at his best when he is finding open looks for Dirk, Parsons, and others. He makes things very worrisome when he is looking for his own shot instead. Tonight kind of felt like a "I'm getting my own shot" kind of night, and yet he hit a good number of shots. I mean who is going to complain about 22 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds?
And yet, Deron made me feel really uncomfortable at times in this game, and I hope that isn't the case going forward.
This game wasn't close, and that is a lot of credit to the team
No one really stood out in this game. And yet the Mavs were in full control of it all through the second half. Against a Western Conference team. That is a good sign.
Dallas forced a lot of turnovers in this game. That was big, especially in the first half--when it was close. It felt like Dallas could hit an open look to save their lives early on, so it was huge that the defense was able to hold tight. this game was close all through the first half.
Then in the second, the shots just started falling. But it wasn't just the usual players. Dirk wasn't great, nor was Chandler Parsons or Wes Matthews. Deron had a great game, and so did Ray Felton. Zaza was his normal reliable self, but you also had contributions from Dwight Powell. JaVale McGee didn't play a bunch, but he contributed some.
For real though, Ray Felton had a great game. He is really battling Zaza for the biggest, most awesome surprise of the season. He has easily established himself as the most important non-starter at the guard position, and that is no offense to Devin Harris, who has been as reliable as ever.
This game was interesting, because the Mavs won big, but other than Deron, I can't point to anyone having an insane night. And, honestly, that's a good thing. This team is deeper and more well-rounded than a lot of people have given them credit for.
This is the first win after 3 losses. But a couple of those losses were close, against really good teams. Dallas isn't the monster that Golden State is, but even still, games like tonight prove that the Mavs ain't nothing to f*ck with (as the kids say these days). This should be a really fun season, and tonight was a reminder of that.